« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
That is the procedure requiring reference to the League in the case of a flagrant breach or of more stringent action.
It may be recalled that Hitler had promised that the German Government would scrupulously maintain their treaties voluntarily signed, even though they were concluded before Hitler's accession to power. No one has ever argued that Stresemann was in any way acting involuntarily when he signed this Locarno Pact on behalf of Germany, along with the other representatives. (The signature is not in Stresemann's name, but by Herr Hans Luther.) This treaty, which repeats the violated provisions of the Versailles Treaty, was freely entered into and binds Germany in that regard. Article 8 deals with the preliminary enforcement of the Treaty by the League:
“The present Treaty shall be registered at the League of Nations in accordance with the Covenant of the League. It shall remain in force until the Council, acting on a request of one or other of the High Contracting Parties notified to the other signatory Powers three months in advance, and voting at least by a two-thirds majority, decides that the League of Nations ensures sufficient protection to the High Contracting Parties; the Treaty shall cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of one year from
such decision.” (TC-12) Thus, in signing this Treaty, the German representative clearly placed the question of repudiation or violation of the Treaty in the hands of others. Germany was at the time a member of the League, and a member in the Council of the League. Germany left the question of repudiation or violations to the decision of the League.
H. Arbitration Treaty between Germany and Czechoslovakia, signed at Locarno in October 1925.
Article I is the governing clause of this treaty (TC-14). It provides :
"All disputes of every kind between Germany and Czechoslovakia with regard to which the Parties are in conflict as to their respective rights, and which it may not be possible to settle amicably by the normal methods of diplomacy, shall be submitted for decision either to an arbitral tribunal, or to the Permanent Court of International Justice as laid down hereafter. It is agreed that the disputes referred to above include, in particular, those mentioned in Article 13 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. This provision does not apply to disputes arising out of or prior to the
present Treaty and belonging to the past. Disputes for the settlement of which a special procedure is laid down on other conventions in force between the High Contracting Parties, shall be settled in conformity with the provisions of those
Conventions." This treaty was registered with the Secretariat of the League in accordance with Article 22, the second sentence of which shows that the Treaty was entered into and its terms in force under the same conditions as the Treaty of Mutual Guarantee. (TC-12)
This is the Treaty to which President Benes unsuccessfully appealed during the crisis in the Autumn of 1938.
I. Arbitration Convention Between Germany and Belgium, signed at Locarno, October 1925.
(This treaty, TC-13, is discussed in Section 10 of this chapter dealing with the invasion of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.)
J. Arbitration Treaty Between Germany and Poland, signed at Locarno, 16 October 1925.
(This treaty, TC-15, is discussed in Section 8 of this chapter dealing with the invasion of Poland.)
K. Declaration of the Assembly of the League of Nations of 24 September 1927.
Germany had become a member of the League of Nations on 10 September 1926, a year before this Declaration was made.
The importance of this Declaration is not only its effect on International Law, but to the fact that it was unanimously adopted by the Assembly of the League of Nations, of which Germany was a free and active member at the time. Referring to the unanimous adoption of the Declaration, M. Sokal, the Polish Rapporteur, had this to say:
“The Committee was of opinion that, at the present junc-
in itself and represent a concrete contribution towards security, the Third Committee unanimously agreed as to its great
moral and educative value." (TC-18) M. Sokal then asked the Assembly to adopt the draft resolution, the terms of which show what so many nations, including Germany, had in mind at that time. The resolution recited that the Assembly
recognizing the solidarity which unites the community of nations, being inspired by a firm desire for the maintenance of general peace, being convinced that a war of aggression can never serve as a means of settling international disputes, and in consequence an international crime; considering that the solemn renunciation of all wars of aggression would tend to create an atmosphere of general confidence calculated to facilitate the progress of the work undertaken with a view to disarmament: “Declares: 1. That all wars of aggression are and shall always be prohibited. “2. That every pacific means must be employed to settle disputes of every description, which may arise between States. “That the Assembly declares that the States Members of the League are under an obligation to conform to these princi
ples.” (TC-18) The fact of the solemn renunciation of war was taken in the form of a roll call, and the President announced that:
“All the delegations having pronounced in favour of the declaration submitted by the Third Committee, I declare it unanimously adopted.”. (TC-18)
L. The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.
(This treaty, TC-19, is discussed in Sir Hartley Shawcross's opening address for Great Britain, to be found in Section 5, supra.)
(1) Austria. On 21 May 1935 Hitler made a speech containing this assurance:
“Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the domestic affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to attach that country to her. The German people and the German Government have, however, the very comprehensible desire, arising out of the simple feeling of solidarity due to a common national descent, that the right to self-determination should
be guaranteed not only to foreign nations, but to the German
can exist permanently." (TC-26) Similarly, in the Agreement between the German Government and the Government of the Federal State of Austria, on July 11, 1936, paragraph one stated as follows:
"The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federal State of Austria in the sense of the pronouncements of the German Leader and Chancellor of the 21st May, 1935.” (TC-22)
(2) Czechoslovakia. The German Assurance to Czechoslovakia is contained in the letter from M. Jan Masaryk to Viscount Halifax on the date of 12 March 1938 (TC-27). The first paragraph shows that Field Marshall Goering used the expression “Ich gebe Ihnen Mein Ehrenwort.” That means, “I give my word of honor.” The third paragraph shows that Goering had asked that there would not be a mobilization of the Czechoslovak Army. The fourth paragraph reads:
"M. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and binding assurances on this subject, and today he spoke with Baron von Neurath, who, among other things, assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Conven
tion concluded at Locarno in October 1925.” (TC-27) So that in 1935 Baron von Neurath was speaking on behalf of Germany on an agreement voluntarily concluded. Had there been the slightest doubt of that question, von Neurath gave the assurance on behalf of Hitler that Germany still considered itself bound by the German-Czechoslovakia Arbitration Convention on the 12 March 1938, six months before Dr. Benes made a hopeless appeal to it before the crisis in the Army in 1938.
Czechoslovakia's difficult position is set out in the pregnant last paragraph:
“They can not however fail to view with great apprehension the sequel of events in Austria between the date of the bilateral agreement between Germany and Austria, 11 July
1936, and yesterday, 11 March 1938." (TC-27) On 26 September 1938, Hitler made an assurance to Czechoslovakia which contains important points as to the alleged German policy of getting Germans together in the Reich, for which the Nazi conspirators had purported to request a considerable time:
“I have a little to explain. I am grateful to Mr. Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I have assured him that the German people want nothing but peace; but I have also told him that I can not go back beyond the limits of our patience.”
(TC-28) (This occurred between the Godesberg Treaty and the Munich Pact).
“I assured him, moreover, and I repeat it here, that when this problem is solved there will be no more territorial problems for Germany in Europe. And I further assured him that from the moment when Czechoslovakia solves its other problems, that is to say, when the Czechs have come to an arrangement with their other minorities peacefully, and without oppression, I will no longer be interested in the Czech State. And that, as far as I am concerned, I will guarantee it. We don't want any Czechs. But I must also declare before the German people that in the Sudeten German problem my patience is now at an end. I made an offer to Herr Benes which was no more than the realization of what he had already promised. He now has peace or war in his hands. Either he will accept this offer and at length give the Germans their freedom, or we will get this freedom for our
selves." (TC-28) The Munich Agreement of 29 September 1938 (TC-23) was signed by Hitler, later by Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Daladier, and Mussolini. It is largely a procedural agreement by which the entry of German troops into Sudeten-Deutsche territory is regulated. That is shown by the preliminary clause:
"Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, taking into consideration the agreement which has been already reached in principle for the cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory have agreed on the following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure ful
fillment.” (TC-23) Article 4 states that “The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1 October.” The four territories are marked on the attached map. Article 6 provides that "The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission.” (TC-23)
The agreement provides also for various rights of option and release from the Czech forces of Sudeten Germans (TC-23). That was what Hitler was asking for in the somewhat rhetorical pas. sage previously referred to (TC-28).